Israel, Philippines and God’s Harvest!

And I will make you to this people a fortified bronze wall.  And they (Hamas, Hezbollah, Houthis) will fight against you.  But they shall not prevail against you;  For I am with you to save you, and deliver you, says the LORD.  I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, And I will redeem you from the grip of the terrible. (Jer. 15:20-21)

“Say not ye, There are yet four months and then cometh harvest?  Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, for they are white already to harvest” (Jn. 4:35)

Dear Friends of Israel:

As I write this update, Israel is now entering its sixth month of warfare against Hamas.  The IDF is still seeking to destroy this Iranian sponsored terrorist group and is making slow progress in the Gaza.  The fighting is currently near the southern Gaza city of Khan Yunis.  Reports have indicated that the IDF has destroyed some 85% of the underground tunnels used by Hamas in this area.  One last hostile area, the city of Rafah,  near the Egyptian border remains.  It is thought that the remaining Israeli hostages are held there and being used as human shields to protect the Hamas leadership.  Israel wants to begin a ground advance to destroy this last remaining stronghold of Hamas, but international pressure by the U.S., France and the U.N. are calling for a permanent or long term cease fire.  The United States is also aggressively pushing for “the two state solution”, thus dividing up Israel and returning major parts of Jerusalem to P.A. control.  Whether this will happen remains to be seen as Israel’s leadership knows that to reward Palestine for this terrorist war and give it a State at Israel’s expense is just foolishness.  Israel would be required to return to its pre-1967 lines and 2/3’s of Jerusalem would be sliced off and given to a people who in reality want the whole land.

Israel’s Northern border with Lebanon is also under threat from Hezbollah with rockets and missiles fired at its cities and communities a daily occurrence.  Israel is ready to go in and invade Lebanon to secure its own borders and protect its citizens from terrorism.  The U.S. again is politically pressuring Israel to not make this move, in an effort to stop this Middle Eastern conflict from widening.  

Then to make more matters worse, the Iranian backed Yemen terror group: the Houthis, have continued their warfare against international shipping, forcing ships to detour around the horn of Africa or else suffer missile attacks as they transit to/from the Suez Canal.  Last week, the Rubymar, a Belize flagged bulk carrier sank in the Red Sea, with its cargo of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, and marine fuel, causing a possible environmental disaster.  Three undersea international communication cables have also been cut.  The U.S. and other naval forces have sought to avert these missile attacks but ships are still being targeted, and without a “ground invasion”, this crisis will continue. 

The Muslim “holy month” of Ramadan starts March 10th.  This is a month of day time fasting for Muslims and supposedly “the gates of heaven” are open to Muslims during this time.  In the past, Israel has “honored” this “holy month” by standing down its military activities, but with Hamas and Hezbollah showing no sign of stopping their warfare, it is likely there will be no ceasefire during this month.

The United States and other nations are demanding increases in “humanitarian assistance” to the Gazan’s trapped in their enclave.  Yet, Israel is sending hundreds of truckloads a day to “feed” these people.  This week a number of trucks with their cargo originating from Egypt were attacked, with one driver killed.  Hamas terrorists were also observed hijacking 20 humanitarian aid trucks which had entered Gaza. (i24 news).  The U.S. also air-dropped MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat) from C-130’s to the “trapped Gazans.”  There has been no other war that I can remember when “humanitarian aid” was given to a people who support the terrorist group they are a part of.  The U.S. looked the other way in Afghanistan, and Iraq, conflicts but now want s to force Israel to “behave” and fight a more kinder, gentler war.

Pray for the return of the Israel/Foreign hostages.  It is uncertain at this time how many are still alive.

Pray that the LORD would deliver Israel “from the hand of the wicked, And redeem Israel  from the grip of the terrible.” (Jer. 15:20-21).

Philippines Mission Trip

I have just returned from the Philippines, landing Wednesday February 28th. The Philippines was great, even though a bit of a stretch for a 77 year old man.  A 15 hour flight going there, overnighting in Manila, then flying to Bacolod, a large city on the Island of Negros. I, along with Pete Snyder, Don James and two others began a week of teaching in a Bible Seminar with 80 attending (Israel and the last days was my subject).  I also preached in 5 churches in the three weeks we were there.  One service began at 6:30 AM!  Also we ministered at a Christian school assembly and preached the gospel to about 1,000 students. The third week was jail ministry, feeding the poor, a pastor’s seminar, and going out into the boondocks to preach in the cane fields. Three churches came together to hear us.  It was a anointed time!

Pastor Riza

Pastor Riza, a widow, has been church planting in this area where there are many poor, especially women, working in the fields for as little as $4 a day.  When her husband, who also was a pastor, passed away from cancer, she prayed Isaiah’s prayer: “Here I am Lord, send me.”  The Lord impressed on her to go out into the cane fields, via dirt rutted roads and plant “churches.” Now she wants to plant another four or five churches in this isolated area where “even the Catholic’s haven’t come.”  Pastor Riza buys rice to feed these people.  A 50 pound bag of rice costs about $25.  We also ministered at an orphanage and spoke words of life and encouragement to the children there.  They are also in need of “rice” to feed these children and also provide meals for the homeless twice a month.  If you would like to help in these works use the Global Outpouring donate page HERE and in the comments please note “Philippines”. 

I can say it was hard to return to the States.  I felt that I had “left” my heart there.  The Philippines is home to some 113 million people living on some 7,000 Islands.  Yet in the three weeks we were there, I saw many Filipinos accept the Lord, and open to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  We prayed and laid hands on many for healing also. This nation is “white unto harvest.”  The Filipinos also have a great love for Israel.

We have been asked to return next year, to minister in another island where there are many churches open to receive our ministry.  I also want to thank everyone who helped “send me” to this harvest field and prayed for us while we were there.

Eye Surgery

I will be undergoing optic nerve surgery on my left eye, March 18th at 1pm   My vision has become blurry in this eye and I need the healing hands of a retina surgeon to restore my sight.  The procedure is called a vita-rectomy or the partial removal of a membrane which is blocking my eyesight.  The operation will take about an hour.  I have never been this way before but the doctor is an excellent surgeon, and a believer in Jesus.  He prayed for us in his office before we left.  I also have 2 cataracts but they are not too bad yet.  That’s for another time.  Looking towards the Great El Roi (the God who sees) for complete sight and healing.

We have put a hold on returning to Israel, at least until April but also depending on when I can fly after this type of operation.  I have a post operation appointment March 26th, and the doctor will assess my vision then.  I am asking for your prayers for the success of this operation and our future travels to Israel.

 

 Shalom Blessings

Gene and Marylois/House of Peace

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